Malta Citizenship Concessionaire

November 23 15:54 2020 by The Editor Print This Article

What is a Malta Citizenship Concessionaire?

In 2013, further to decision to introduce of a citizenship by investment programme in Malta, the Maltese Government launched a competitive tender for marketing of the Maltese citizenship program to attract investment to Malta from individuals of high net worth who could make contributions to the Maltese economy.  

The appointed concessionaire was charged with promoting the Maltese citizenship programme for the Maltese governement and for the benefit of Maltese citizenship filing agents.

Is the Concession still in force?

No.  The role of the concession was stopped and abolished with the closure of the Malta Individual Investor Programme on reaching the preset quota of just 1800 approved families in 2020..  The role created unwarranted controversy and suspicious in the involvement of foreign firms in the management of what is a public, administrative service that a government should perform.  The law dos not allow the appointment of a concessionaire or other third party promotor under the new rules on the Granting of Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Foreign Direct Investment in Malta.

So what was the role of the Concessionaire?

Under the Individual Investor Progarmme, the Maltese Government granted no concession or exclusivity or special rights to the chosen concessionaire in respect of applications for citizenship under the Malta Individual Investor Program.  The concession consisted on the international promotion of the Maltese IIP program.  The handling of applications was usually the role of specialised citizenship lawyers within law firms having a immigration practice, while the actual processing or of the conduct of due diligence in respect of any Maltese citizenship applications is the main responsibility of an autonomous governmental agency, originally part of Identity Malta, now a separate Agency the Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency or MIIPA, and since 2020 the Community Malta Agency, that is vested with the sole authority and function of processing and recommending applications for consideration by the Minister for the grant of citizenship.
In fact, the Malta citizenship concessionaire, as concessionaire, didn't hold any authorization to handle applications under the pre-established residency programs and didn't comply with the rules for eligibility for citizenship agents laid down in the laws implementing the Maltese citizenship program.

What's the role of Malta Citizenship Agents?

Applicants cannot apply for Maltese citizenship directly with Identity Malta.  Under Maltese Citizenshpi regulations, an applicant must be represented by a duly authorised Malta Citizenship Agent.  Issued under Maltese Citizenship Act, the MIIP regulations emphasise the importance of the accreditation of Malta Citizenship Agents to represent applicants under the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme The Maltese citizenship regulations impose a number of qualitative and precautionary measures to ensure appropriate due diligence is performed pre-application by experienced immigration law specialists, and that citizenship application files are prepared within the quality guidelines issued from time to time by Identity Malta.

How are Malta Citizenship Agents accredited?

The first accreditation level granted by Identity Malta to handle applications and represent investors under the Malta Individual Investor Program, is the level of Accredited Person.  Qualified persons are accredited by Identity Malta Agency and need to meet the minimum of at least 3 successful applications per year.  Currently over a 190 consultants are accredited but only a handful are really active and experienced in what is a very specialised and niche sector. For tips on choosing the right Malta Citizenship Agent, read our article on the subject.  Successful accredited persons progress to Approved Agent status. Malta Citizenship Agents obtain Approved Agent status in accordance with the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta Regulations, 2013. 

Malta Citizenship Advisors

While the filing of applications with the MIIPA is a regulated activity and requires a licence, advising on citizenship law matters, compiling due diligence or even compiling MIIP citizenship application files is not regulated.  Maltese citizenship advisers range from Maltese citizenship lawyers (regulated by the Malta Chamber of Advocates) as well as other unregulated consultants often situated outside Malta.

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